Friday, June 18, 2010
Some Flomax Patients Are Not Seeing The Light
BPH is a rather common problem for men. Three out of four men get BPH by the time they are 70 years old. This condition is caused by the prostrate gland swelling and constricting the flow of urine out of the body.
Men who have this condition may complain about difficulties urinating or they may feel the need to urinate frequently. Flomax works by relaxing the muscle that surrounds the prostrate gland and thereby eases the flow of urine.
The problem associated with Flomax use is that this drug also relaxes the muscles located in the iris of the eye. Men who have been taking Flomax and then require cataract surgery are experiencing complications during the procedure.
Since the iris muscles in Flomax users are now significantly relaxed during the surgery, the iris will begin to flop or billow especially near the cataract extraction. This in turn can cause the iris to prolapse and in some cases the eye lens has actually fallen out.
Other complications during these surgeries have included retinal detachments and inflammation of the eye. Because of this surgical complication known as Intraoperative Floppy Iris Syndrome (IFIS) found in patients who were using the drug Flomax, the FDA issued a warning letter in 2005 notifying Ophthalmologists, Urologists, and other healthcare professionals of the possibility of this adverse condition.
Another warning by the FDA was issued this month when the same results were found in a recent Canadian study. Doctors were advised to alter their procedures when operating on a patient that has been prescribed Flomax.
Recommendations have also been given to cease giving the drug Flomax to potential cataract patients at least 14 days before cataract surgery. After surgery, these patients that had developed IFIS were reporting more pain, longer healing times and less success with regard to vision repair.
Flomax is an alpha-blocker and was developed by Yamanouchi Pharmaceuticals and is marketed by Boehringer Ingelheim. Alpha blockers were originally used to treat high blood pressure, but Flomax is designed to specifically target the muscles in the prostrate gland. However, the medicine in Flomax has caused some other serious problems relating to low blood pressure.
Less serious side effects have been reported and are severe dizziness, drowsiness, chest pain, cough, sore throat, sinus and nasal problems, weakness, nausea, diarrhea, headache, back pain, and some sexual side effects including painful erections that last four or more hours which can lead to permanent impotence if left untreated.
Another significant side effect of Flomax is the impairment of thinking and reactions. Patients are encouraged not to drive or do anything that requires the patient to be awake and alert. In addition, standing up too quickly can cause fainting because of the drop in blood pressure.
Allergic reactions to Flomax have also been reported by people who also seem to be allergic to sulfa drugs and include severe itching, hives, rashes and difficulty breathing. These side effects are beginning to spawn lawsuits across the country.